Twitter has locked China’s US embassy account over a tweet relating to the Xinjiang region.

Citing the state-run China Daily, the “@ChineseEmbinUS” account tweeted earlier this month that Uighur women were no longer “baby making machines.” The tweet was hidden from view by the platform, but the embassy will have to delete it before they are able to unlock their account.

Satellite Imagery of Xinjiang “Re-education Camp” No.36 in Turpan. Photo: Google Earth.

The embassy last tweeted on January 9. Twitter said the Xinjiang tweet violated their policies.

“We’ve taken action on the Tweet you referenced for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,” a Twitter spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.

Twitter is censored in mainland China.

Photo: Screenshots via Twitter.

The predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic group are among the minorities targeted in what Beijing claims is a campaign to tackle unrest and separatism.

The UN says a million Uighurs have been arbitrarily detained in “political reeducation camps,” whilst Human Rights Watch reports that surveillance and repression in Xinjiang has increased dramatically since 2016. The NGO says that biometric data is collected from residents, passports are confiscated, religious activity restricted, “abnormally long” beards, public prayers and Muslim veils banned, whilst vehicle and mobile phone owners are made to install trackers. Contraceptives, sterilisation and abortion have been reportedly forced upon Uighurs to control the population. The US has deemed Beijing’s actions to amount to “genocide.”


Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.